Pacific Crest Middle School (2018)

Bend , OR

Small Group Responsive Services

Providing small-groups for students is a fundamental piece of the comprehensive school counseling program at Pacific Crest Middle School. This approach enables our counseling department to provide direct services to students in need of extra academic and social/emotional support. Developmentally, at the middle school level, students tend to grow more in a positive direction in a small-group setting vs. individual because they are learning from each other. Our small-group services are aligned with our vision, mission, and program goals. We use academic, behavior, and attendance data, as well as self-referrals, referrals from teachers and parents to form the groups throughout the school year. Our data reflected a clear need for various small groups, including an academic success group, an anxiety group, a group to help students feel connected to school, and a body image group.

When developing lesson plans for groups, the ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors drive the content. We look at which Mindset or Behavior we are focusing on for that lesson, and develop the content appropriately. For example, when developing lessons for our Academic Success group, one of the lessons focused on M 2, Self-confidence in the ability to succeed, and B-SMS 5. Demonstrate perseverance to achieve long- and short-term goals. Based on these two, we developed a lesson that was centered around goal setting. Students took time to develop academic goals and the steps needed to achieve them in the hopes this would increase self-confidence to succeed. In order make sure that our perception data is linked to Mindsets and Behaviors we are targeting for groups, we utilize the "Developing Perception Data" template provided by ASCA. This allows us to develop "know, can, and believe" statements that hit on the attitudes, knowledge, and skills we are working to develop.

Once the focus of each group was selected the counseling team divided up which counselor was going to run each group. Each counselor was responsible for screening for the group they were going to facilitate. During the screening process we asked questions about interest level, asked students to expand on their hopes for the group, talked to students about why they were identified for the group, and gave out permission forms with a group outline. We capped our small-groups at six students and were conscious of grade level and identified gender. We planned the sessions on different days of the week and alternated which class period the groups were offered in order to reduce the amount of class time students were missing.

The data results for our small groups will help us to deliver groups more effectively in the future by encouraging us to start small-groups earlier in the year and when to offer these groups. In addition, upon reviewing the data, we discovered areas where we need to provide more psycho-education, specifically around anxiety. Another realization that we had is, to collect more accurate data, it would be helpful to have students participating in the group complete a quick exit ticket at the end of each group. By doing this, we will be able to more accurately gauge what students are gaining from the group.

The results from our small groups led us to the conclusion that small-groups were successfully facilitated and positively impacted student success. Our counseling department has every intention to continue implementing more small-groups, using data, needs assessments, and staff referrals. We strive to focus our attention on preventative services for students and the data reflects that small-groups are an excellent platform for prevention.

Group Name: Academic Success

Goal: By the end of the 2017-2018 school year, the percentage of 7th and 8th grade students receiving two or more Ds and Fs during the 16-17 school year will decrease 52% from 21 students to 10 students.

Target Group: 7th and 8th Grade Students receiving Ds and/or Fs.

Data Used to Identify Students: Synergy Gradebook

School Counselor(s): Ashlee Davis Andrew Krauthoefer Connie Baty

ASCA Domain, Mindsets & Behaviors Standard(s): M2 M6 B-SMS 5 B-LS 3 B-LS 4 B-SS 2 B-SS 3

Outline of Group Sessions Delivered: Session 1: Icebreakers and Norm Setting. Pre survey. Session 2: Goal Setting Session 3: Role Play: Organization, Grade Checks, Advocating for self with teachers and peers. Session 4: Learning Organization Strategies Session 5: Acknowledging Successes, Wrap/Up and Post-assessment.

Process Data (Number of students affected): 21 students 5, 55 minute lessons.

Perception Data (Surveys or assessments used): Students completed the "Academic Support" Pre/Post 9 question survey. The survey asked questions on Likert scale with believe, can, and know questions related to knowledge, skills, and attitude. Additionally, it asked questions related to students feeling connected to the school, to a staff member. Survey questions and Mindsets and Behaviors they relate to: Q1: I believe I have a positive attitude towards school (M6) Q2: I can be successful in school (M2) Q3: I know how to stay organized and use my time effectively (B-LS 3, B-LS 4) Q4: I believe I have self-discipline and self-control at school and during class (B-LS 4) Q5: I can pay attention in class and get my work done on time (B-LS 4) Q6: I know how to use technology and other tools effectively to support my learning (B-LS 3, B-LS4) Q7: There is an adult at PCMS that I feel connected to and can talk to (B-SS 3) Q8: I believe that I belong to the PCMS community (B-SS 2) Q9: I believe that doing well in school has an impact on my long term success in life (B-SMS 5) The data from the survey shows student growth on each of the 9 questions. Students as a whole report having a more positive attitude toward school, they they feel they can be successful in school, they are organized and can use time effectively, they have more discipline and self-control at school, they are able to pay attention in class and get work done, they can use technology to support learning, they feel connected to an adult and to the school, and that doing well in school has an impact on long term success. Specific data on growth on the 9 questions is outlined on the graphs in the document attached entitled, "Academic Success Group Pre/Post Survey Data".

Outcome Data (Achievement, attendance, and/or behavior data): During the 2016-17 school year, all 21 of the students participating in the group received multiple Ds and/or Fs during one semester or received at least one D or F in both semesters. Semester grades from the 2017-18 school year were pulled for the 21 students who participated in the small group. 11 of the 21 (52%) students who participated in this group did not receive multiple Ds and Fs during the 2017-18 school year.

Implications: We were able to deliver this small group to all 21 of the students we identified from the 2016-17 school year data. We felt the content that was used was successful in targeting the ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors we chose, specifically M-2 (Self-confidence in ability to succeed), M6 (Positive attitude toward work and learning), B-LS 3 (Use time-management, organizational and study skills), and B-SS 3 (Create relationships with adults that support access). Students were able to learn valuable goal setting, organization, and self-advocacy skills. We also felt that students were able to connect with an adult in the building and connect with other students who were having a similar school experience. Time was and is a challenge for us to deliver small groups; particularly the groups around academic support. Our lunch period is too short to have a quality session. Because we don’t want students who are struggling academically to miss class, we had to find the right way to pull students from class to participate in the small group. We chose a rotating schedule of class periods, so students would only miss 1 class period of a particular class over the 5 weeks. While 5 weeks felt like a good amount of time, more consistent check ins and work over the course of the year would be beneficial. We would like to look at new ways to find time to provide small group instruction. One way to do this may be to look at a push in model. When creating the survey, we used the “developing perception data” template that ASCA provides. We hit on knowledge, skills, and attitudes through the use of can, believe, and know questions. It was also helpful to look at if students felt connected to an adult and to the school community as the feeling of acceptance supports engagement in school. It also provides students who are struggling an opportunity to reach out and get support. Our survey data indicates that these students found the group to be valuable. We were able to see growth in all questions that were asked. I would not change any questions on this survey. Our outcome data shows that of these 21 students, 11 (52%) did not receive multiple Ds and Fs during the 2017-18 school year. This is positive and suggests that we should continue with this group. However, we also saw a number of students who did not participate in this group, receive multiple Ds and Fs during the school year. This program should be extended to more students who are identified by teachers and through progress grade reports prior to a semester ending in an attempt to ensure that students are not failing classes. We would also like to extend this group out to our 6th grade students. We have found that we may be providing intervention too late. If we can develop these skills with our 6th graders, maybe we will see a reduction in Ds and Fs as students become 7th and 8th graders. Also, we have talked about creating a 15-minute Advisory period that could allow for instruction by classroom teachers on topics such as organization, study skills, and test-taking strategies. This time could also be used for students to complete grade checks and get themselves organized for the week. We would also like to develop more tutoring opportunities. We are going to look into using our 8th grade leadership students and our National Junior Honor Society students to provide peer tutoring for students who are having difficulty maintaining passing grades.